Staycation in the City
Sometimes a break from the everyday routine is all you need to recharge. My husband and I were able to take a one night staycation in the city, which was exactly what we needed. We spent fifteen days at home and the Thanksgiving holiday on two separate levels due to COVID. The definition of a staycation is to take time and participate in leisure activities, we just elevated it with overnight accommodations. This was the perfect remedy to affordably recharge and the best part...we didn’t have to get on a plane. I love getaways for the simplistic reason that time is of no essence, you can stumble into a cozy spot and get lost in the day. No obligated plans or tickets to a show, it was just us.
We beat the weekend traffic by heading downtown early in the afternoon. Our room at the Omni Hotel had a 4 p.m. check in, the staff was very accommodating and granted an earlier check-in time. Our room was a beautiful, corner suite overlooking Rush street and the St. James Cathedral. After dropping off our bags and scoping out the hotel we headed over to Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak & Stone Crab, one of my husband's favorite restaurants. Joes has a happy hour on Fridays from 2 to 4 p.m. Drinks are $5 to $7 in the bar and lounge. After some wine, two orders of oysters and some salmon and crab cake sliders we were ready to walk off the food and check out the Christkindlmarket. The outdoor market is filled with holiday cheer and celebrating its 25th year.
My husband and I have an annual tradition to visit the massive Christmas tree outside the Bloomingdale store located in the 900 N Michigan Shops so that was the next stop on our list. If you time it right you can grab a photo with Santa on a magical sleighride through a winter wonderland from November 20th - December 24th, noon to 6p.m. daily. Appointments or reservations can be made on the website. We stopped in some shops for some Christmas shopping and headed back to the hotel to rest and get ready for dinner.
I love to have a game plan and to know what I am doing….my husband loves to wing it. I made and then cancelled 4 dinner reservations so we could just “go with the flow.” It always seems to work out when I follow his lead. We ended up at Carmines on Rush, a Chicagoan favorite with authentic dishes and a great ambiance. We have been there more times than I can count and always enjoy the food. The meal started with cabernet and baked clams. We split the special which was a seafood and linguini dish topped with an arrabbiata sauce. The serving size was massive including lobster tails, shrimp, muscles, clams, calamari and garlic bread. The outside temps dropped quite a bit while we were at dinner so we decided to head back to the hotel bar, 676 and finished the night with an espresso martini and cheesecake.
Every time I have the opportunity to sleep in, I never can. My body is always running on its mom clock even when Remi spends the night by her grandparents, which is absolutely insane since we never sleep at home... EVER. We got ready and headed to Beatrix for a cappuccino and a pastry then made a pit stop at Garrets Popcorn on the way back for a snack while we walked to see more holiday decorations. The city was quiet and calm, perfect time to walk around and site see. All the walking had us pretty hungry at this point so we stopped in Gibsons on Rush for some brunch. Sliders and 1/2 roasted chicken were the choices of the day! We met the most lovely couple who was in town visiting family and had met for the first time at the table we were sitting at 28 years ago. They sent us over a drink which was the perfect end to our staycation.
Even if you have lived in Chicago and the suburbs your entire life, it is a beautiful place to explore during the holiday season. The city comes to life and is magical. I always find that time away together helps us gain more appreciation for our relationship. We bond over new experiences being shared and it gives us time to shut the world out and focus on each other. This one night is exactly what we needed and I'll cherish our memories together until our next adventure!
X0 - Katie